Received from: Equity
Congress notes the recent report by the Social Mobility Commission that found that inequality and class privilege remain entrenched in the UK. It found that those from working-class backgrounds face considerable disadvantages in the labour market, are less likely to be in professional jobs than their more affluent peers and if they do get a professional job, earn 17 per cent less; with multiple disadvantages faced by women, people with disabilities and BME groups from working-class backgrounds.
Congress notes the ongoing work by Equity to address the disadvantages faced by working-class performers and creative practitioners getting into and making progress in the creative industries. A core issue is the prevalence of low pay and sometimes no pay and the precariousness of work in the sector, which is predominately freelance, characterised by insecure and short-term contracts. This disadvantages those without independent financial means, working other part time jobs, who do not have the flexibility when auditions are called and work is offered at short notice.
Congress affirms the vital role played by trade unions in combating class inequalities, by challenging discrimination and securing financially sustainable careers with decent pay and conditions.
Congress supports plans by the TUC for a major new initiative on class and calls on the General Council to campaign for measures that will help close the privilege gap, including calling on the UK government to introduce a legal requirement on public bodies aimed at reducing socio-economic disadvantage.